And as we’ve been pretty certain of since photos started leaking, the larger Pixel 3 XL adopts the notch popularized by Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone X. New smartphones weren’t all Google showed off today, though.
Here’s the full roundup of everything you need to know about today’s product announcements by Google.
Pixel 3 and Pixel Stand Wireless Charger
In September, Apple announced its 2018 iPhone lineup, and now it’s Google’s turn. Details of the new Pixel smartphones, including hand-on photos, have been leaking for months, but today was the official unveiling.
The new Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch OLED display and is powered by a Snapdragon 845 with 4GB of RAM. A glass black (partially in a matte finish) supports wireless charging.
With its Pixel Visual Cortex providing additional processing power, photos are claimed to be even better than on the award-winning Pixel 2, but Google is sticking with a single, 12.2MP primary camera system. Top Shot is a new AI-powered feature that helps select the best photo out of a series. It also gets Near Site for improved low light photos, Super Res Zoom for zooming without needing a telephoto lens and Night Sight for shooting at night without a flash. Google Lens object recognition is now integrated directly in the camera. Pixel 3s gets new dual front-facing cameras for super wide angle group selfies.
The new phones also get six months of free YouTube Music to go along with improved, front-firing speakers.
Apple can’t seem to get its act together on wireless charging, with its AirPower charger now delayed more than a year. Google, on the other hand, is releasing the Pixel Stand, an optional wireless charger for its new phones. This one does more than charge, it also positions the phone upright and lets you use it in useful ways such as a photo frame or alarm clock.
Color choices are black, white and not-pink (it’s pink). Of course, the new Pixel smartphones will run Android 9 (Pie). Pixel 3 starts at $799 with 64GB of storage and is available for pre-order starting today, with in-store availability starting Oct. 19. The Pixel Stand wireless charger goes for $79.
Pixel 3 XL
The larger Pixel 3 XL shares the features and technical details of the Pixel 3, but at $100 more.
When Apple introduced the iPhone X with a notch in its display, the move was derided. But the notch soon became a popular feature, even among smartphones that don’t technically need one.
Google introduced notch support in the latest version of Android, and sure enough, there’s a notch on the 6.3-inch Pixel 3 XL’s OLED display. And it’s even more noticeable than the notches on Apple’s latest iPhone XS series.
Pixel 3 XL starts at $899 with 64GB of storage.
Google made the point up front that the new Pixel slate is a tablet, not a convertible, 2-in-1 device. But this one doesn’t run Android (although you can use Android apps), instead it’s powered by Chrome OS. That means built-in virus protection and automatic updates for the same level of security Chromebooks enjoy.
Its 12.3-inch display has 6 million pixels (3,000 x 2,000), for a density of 293 ppi, making it sharper than an iPad Pro, or Surface Pro 6. It uses an LPTS panel that is claimed to have much faster response times than traditional LCD. Dual front-firing speakers make it great for watching video and the company is throwing in three months of free YouTube TV.
Despite the initial claim that it’s not being positioned as a convertible device, Google is actually selling an optional keyboard case that enables it to be used as a laptop. Pixel Slate starts at $599, the keyboard is $199 and a stylus is $99. They’ll be available “later this year.”
Google Home Hub
A new member of the Google Assistant-powered Google Home smart speaker family was introduced, this one with an integrated display. The Google Home Hub integrates a 7-inch display on a cloth-covered speaker base, but unlike the newly announced Facebook Portal, there is no camera.
Google says it wants customers to feel comfortable with the device in private areas like a bedroom, and that’s why the camera was left out. It’s all about the display, including an Ambient EQ feature that optimizes color and brightness. And unlike the Amazon Echo Show, this smart speaker gets an optimized version of YouTube — along with a free six months of YouTube Premium. Home Hub is also being positioned as a central point for smart home device control with its Home View interface.
At $149, Google Home Hub is going to be strong competition for the $229 re-designed Echo Show (announced two weeks ago), although if video chatting is a requirement, the Home Hub is out. It’s available in four colors to blend in to home decor and it can be used as a digital photo frame, displaying pictures from Google Photos.
Google Home Hub is available starting Oct. 22.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.